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Sunday, December 10, 2023

How to Bathe an Infant

It can be intimidating to bathe a newborn for the first time. It’s critical to keep babies safe and warm, especially during their first few months, and this can be difficult to achieve during bathtime. Bathing your child can be a pleasant, playful experience with the correct tools and a little practice, and the perfect opportunity for the two of you to bond. Continue reading to learn how to prepare for the bath, bathe your baby securely, and comfort them once you’re done.

Part 1: Get Ready for Bath Time

1. Prepare everything ahead of time. You won’t be allowed to leave the baby in the bath for even a second, so make sure you have everything you need before you start.

  • Gather everything you’ll need for the bath, including a tub, a cup to pour water into, gentle baby soap, two washcloths, and cotton balls to wipe the baby’s eyes and ears.
  • Collect a few bath toys for the infant to play with if desired.
  • Prepare the items you’ll need after the bath, such as a towel, a brush or comb, lotion or oil, a diaper, diaper ointment, and a clean pair of clothes.
  • Because dry cord care is presently recommended—leaving the stump alone to come off on its own—sponge baths are probably the easiest way to wash the infant until the umbilical cord has fallen off. If the umbilical cord is still intact, there is no need to disinfect it with rubbing alcohol, contrary to popular belief.

2. Dress in appropriate clothes: Wear clothing that you don’t mind getting soapy and wet. Remove all jewelry, including watches, rings, and bracelets, and roll up long sleeves. Make sure your clothes don’t have any zippers or pins that could irritate the skin of the newborn. When bathing a newborn, many caregivers choose to wear a terrycloth bathrobe.

3. Prepare the tub. The majority of baby tubs are designed to support the infant’s neck and head. They usually feature a pad or sling that keeps the infant from being submerged entirely in water. Depending on the manufacturer’s directions, place the baby bath in a clean sink, bathtub, or on the floor.

  • If you don’t have a baby bath, a clean kitchen sink will suffice. Make sure the tap does not come in contact with the baby’s head. For baby-proofing your sink, tap covers are available.
  • Do not bathe a newborn baby in a full-size adult bathtub. They’re overly deep, making it
  • Line your baby bath with a washcloth or a different bath mat if it doesn’t have a tread on the bottom to keep the infant from slipping.

4. Fill the tub with a few inches of warm water.
Test the temperature by running the water. To make sure the water isn’t too hot or cold for the infant, use your elbow, wrist, or a special bath thermometer. The water should be warm to the touch but not as hot as you would like for your own bath or shower.

  • If the baby’s umbilical cord is still attached, simply fill a dish with water and give them a sponge wash instead.
  • Before putting the baby in the bath, always test the water.
  • When in doubt, go for the colder option; your hands are rougher than a baby’s delicate skin, so they will feel heat more keenly.
  • Fill the tub only a couple of inches full. Submerging babies in water is never a good idea. As your baby grows, you can add a little extra water, but never enough to completely submerge him or her.

Part 2: Bathing Your Baby

1. Place your kid in the tub with his or her feet first. As you slowly lower the infant into the tub, keep one hand supporting their back, neck, and head. With one hand, continue to maintain the infant during the bath while washing them with the other.

  • When babies get wet, they can get wriggly and slippery, so be cautious.

2. Start by washing the baby. To get the baby’s body wet, use a cup or your cupped palm. Wash the baby’s face, body, arms, and legs carefully using a soft washcloth.

  • Wipe the baby’s eyes and ears with cotton balls.
  • You can use a safe, neutral baby soap if you want, but it isn’t necessary; a gentle scrub and wash down will suffice to keep babies clean. Remember to get in between all of the small creases, behind the ears, and under the neck, where spit-up and moisture tend to gather.
  • Wash the baby’s hands and feet using a washcloth and a little baby soap.
  • Last, clean the infant’s genitals with a dab of baby soap if desired. If you have a circumcised baby, wipe them gently with the moist washcloth. To avoid infection, wash female babies from head to toe.

3. Hair should be washed. If the baby’s hair has to be washed, lean them back and gently massage the water into their hair and scalp. Pour clean water over the baby’s head using the cup. You can use baby shampoo if you want, but it’s not necessary. Shampoos can easily upset this balance because babies are born with all of the natural oils needed to maintain the scalp healthy.

  • Use your hand to protect the baby’s eyes from irritation if you’re using baby shampoo.
  • Use your hand to protect the baby’s eyes from irritation if you’re using baby shampoo.
  • Check the temperature of the running water before rinsing to ensure it is not too hot.

4. Take the infant out of the tub. With one arm, support the baby’s head, neck, and back, while the other holds their bottom and thigh. Place the infant in a towel with their head covered.

Part 3: After the Bath

1. Dry the infant with a towel. Dry the baby’s body first, being sure to gently dry behind the ears and in the skin folds to remove any excess moisture. Dry your hair as much as possible using a towel.

  • Keep in mind that a baby’s fine hair dries quickly. It is unnecessary and potentially harmful to use a hairdryer.

2. If necessary, apply ointments. If a doctor has prescribed it, dab a little ointment on the baby’s diaper rash or circumcision wound.

  • If you want to use infant creams, lotions, or oils, that’s OK, but it’s not necessary.
  • If the baby’s umbilical chord is still attached, gently dry the region with a cotton ball or dry sponge. There’s no need for rubbing alcohol.

3. Dress the infant and put on a nappy. If you’re preparing to put your child to sleep, dress them in something that’s easy to put on and take off, preferably with snaps rather than buttons. Swaddling the baby is another option. (see How to Swaddle a Baby for more information).

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